Faith Reviews: Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Part Two

And we are back, friends, with more reviewing on Volo’s Guide to Monsters! I haven’t touched this series of updates recently, since I have been doing several projects for Dungeon Master’s Guild, but with this I hope to resume progress on my opinion on the text.

Keep in mind that while I will aim to write about different aspects about the book, that I may not touch upon each and every little thing (that in itself is a massive undertaking!). Though, if you want my opinion on something specific, please let me know and I’ll return an answer catered to you.

Let’s begin!


Monstrous Races: A Terrifying Good Time

A commonplace complaint that I hear about 5th Edition is that people constantly want more playable races, and sometimes their requests are quite…odd. One of my players wanted to be a gigantic shark-man, which I allowed after he ingested a bad potion.

Volo’s has presented us with many a number of sparkly new races for the most part. Aasimar and Goliath were already mentioned in previous texts for 5e, in Sword Coast Adventures and in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. I wonder why Eladrin, by proxy, are not mentioned here in this book? Hmm..

In no particular, we have:

 

Image result for dungeons and dragons firbolg

  • Firbolg: giant-blooded beings with connections to the fey. While traditional mythology has the Firbolgs as warrior druidic spirits, they made them seem more docile and peace loving over anything else. There aren’t any official races yet though which have both Wisdom and Strength as their racial stats, so this seems like the perfect build for Nature Clerics and Moon Druids. Hidden Step is also at-will invisibility which you can use once before regaining on a short or long rest.

Image result for dungeons and dragons kenku

  • Kenku: glorified flightless corvids. Perfectly thematic for Raven Queen Warlocks (see my previous post for that!), I find that the inability to speak naturally is greatly hindering and difficult for most players to do with success. You need to imitate others using Mimicry in order to get your thoughts across. While the challenge may tickle an advanced player’s fancy, it turns me off to the race as a whole. The rest of the racial boons are meh at best.

Image result for dungeons and dragons lizardfolk

  • Lizardfolk: I can see fluff-wise Lizardfolk lining up with the Charlatan Background just from the ‘Cold and Calculating’ titled section, though their stats don’t lend to persuasive characters very well. Natural attacks, such as their Bite and Hungry Jaws, could be interesting if utilized to maximum capacity but in a game where the damage is a mere 1d4, I would not see much use for this. Hold Breath and the swim speed of 30 feet though could be invaluable, depending on the campaign they are played in.

Image result for tabaxi

  • Tabaxi: the Khajit of D&D. The lore of the Tabaxi is as bland as the Dragonborn (even though I do enjoy that race in particular, if done right) history, but the Personality Quirks do add some more substance to them. Any creature with a plus to Dexterity is always  good as is Darkvision. Racial Perception and Stealth are another nice addition, though it suffers a bit from Natural Attacks like the Lizardfolk.

Image result for dungeons and dragons triton

  • Triton: Don’t we already have something similar in the Water Genasi? I don’t like how they have an racial plus-one to THREE stats. They seem to have just too much stuff going on for them (innate spellcasting, communication of simple ideas with sea life, and cold damage resistance). In an ocean-faring campaign, these guys are the undisputed overpowered special snowflakes, though  I suppose they at least make sense with the terrain.

 

Other Races

Starting on page 118, we are given even more odd races: Bugbear, Goblin, Hobgoblin, Kobold, full-blooded Orc and Pureblood Yuan-Ti. Not completly out of place with the lore sections in the front of the book, I wonder why they also did not add a section on Gnolls or half-Hags as monstrous race options.

I am surprised that Orcs have a NEGATIVE to their racial stats (a minus two to their Intelligence), as I don’t think I have seen a race that has that sort of thing to their stats in 5e yet. Kobolds suffer a same fate, with their minus two going into Strength. So all of you who want to play Kobold Barbarians, you’re going to be at a disadvantage. Other then that, all of the options for monster races have increases which stay in line with the ‘plus one’, ‘plus two’ formula. Image result for dungeons and dragons kobold

Hobgoblin’s Martial Training seems out of place for a racial feature, as something like that is reserved mostly for a class such as Fighter. Though since most of their innate stuff is ‘meh’ at best, I would not mind it so much.

Kobold’s Sunlight Sensitivity can be absolutely crippling if you don’t play your cards right, and Grovel, Cower and Beg seems thematically funny while situational. Though personally, I don’t like playing such cowardly things.

Yuan-Ti Purebloods have a lot going for them, perhaps too much. I have heard they have levels of power creep to them, but I don’t terribly see it since their Innate Spellcasting is in line with any other race who has this. Though, Magic Resistance is a HUGE thing which people at higher levels are salivating for (mostly begging for a Mantle of Spell Resistance). Immunity and not just resistance to all poison damage as well as unable to be poisoned is also a huge thing, again though situational.

Overall, I think the races add some good variety but should still be carefully considered for both players and Dungeon Masters. Firbolg and Tabaxi seem the most balanced and in tune with the format for what we have in the core Player’s Handbook, while Triton and Yuan-Ti should be kept on a tight leash. Feel free to disagree with me though, but do it in a civilized manner.


 

A Menagerie of Beasts and How to Stat Them

Image result for dungeons and dragons volo's guide to monsters art

There is over fifty pages of just new creatures to throw at your players (or possibly tame, if your Animal Handling skill is off the charts) as well as several new Non-Playable Characters. Of course, they include sections on what was covered in the Lore portions at the start of the book (Giant, Mind Flayer, Gnoll, Hag, Goblinoid).

What surprises me the most though is just how many more fey creatures we were given. These include the Boggle, Darklings, Annis and Bheur Hag, Korred, Meenlock, Quickling, Redcap, Wood Woad, and Yeth Hound. While none reach over a CR 10 rating, there are significantly more terrifying choices then just a Green Hag or a group of Pixies turning your party into squirrels via polymorph. Such a sharp increase in these types of creatures makes me think they may have a new campaign module where the fey are a prominent part of the story line. But that’s just my hope.

Five new Yuan-Ti? We already have three I believe in the core Monster Manual. How many more do we need? There’s two more Gnoll typings, technically three if you count the Witherling, and many throwback references to previous editions. Flail Snails and Grungs, for example, all hearken back to eras before 5e.

Did I also mention there are dinosaurs in Volo’s? For the Moon Druid who wants to bring Jurassic Park to your table, now they can do so appropriately by turning into a raptor.


Final Product Review 

In total, if your Dungeon Master has gotten everything they could ask for, this might be a good reference for them to have at their disposal. While most of the book tends to be lore heavy, which I understand some people may be turned off at the sight of, there is plenty of juicy bits to stay latched onto.

The races can be considered experiments on the whole, with only a small handful seeming like they meet the balance scale of the Player’s Handbook criteria. Similar to the Unearthed Arcana content, it seems like most of the stuff that players can access here are in the early stages of being finished, though that does not mean the options are bad.

The monsters are top notch, as is the artwork. I am particularily terrified of the Draegoloth, and I would never want to meet him down a dark alley in a tunnel system.

I would give Volo’s Guide to Monsters a solid: 7 out of 10.

 

Faith Reviews: Volo’s Guide to Monsters Part 1

Hello, sprites and pixies of the Internet!

Today, we nerds couldn’t wait to get our grabby little claws on a new release from Wizards of the Coast. All around the ‘net, I have been seeing pictures and teaser images floating around: of froghemoths, a spam of too many giants to count (probably due to the release of Storm King’s Thunder) and rumor that there are new playable races that are considered ‘monstrous’.

After going on a fetch quest that lasted most of the early afternoon, calling two stores and going to two more, I finally was able to track it down: a book called ‘Volo’s Guide to Monsters’, and the version with the nice Mind Flayer hard cover.

Admit it. Your jealous. H.P Lovecraft, eat your heart out.

The fictional author of the book, an explorer named Volo (and remarks and quips by famed NPC Elminister Aumar), goes through many of the iconic Dungeons and Dragons monsters with more lore and information on them. This includes giants, gnolls, hags, beholders, yuan-ti, orcs, goblinoids, and kobolds. Later on, we  get a slew of new races along with some items/weapons, lairs for each of the races covered, and a massive beastiary of monsters to have at your disposal as the Game Master.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s do this review in sections. The first part here is going to be on some of the lore sections, because let’s be frank, there’s too much info to cover in one blog post.


A Giant Chunk of Text

I’ll skip to one of the larger sections of the book, which spans fourteen total pages. That’s overkill, and I think someone at Wizards has a serious hard-on for giants. We get it, your favorite story when you were a child was Jack and the Beanstalk.

Surely spurred on by Storm King’s Thunder, Volo describes giants according to their original Monster Manual entries and expands upon it. Given in the giant passages are first impressions about them, how they were born of a creator named Annam the All-Father along with their origin stories. This also includes some detail about why dragons and giants do not exactly like each other.

The language of giants is odd to me. They are largely inspired, from what I can tell, from Norse mythos but one of their key ideals is called Maat. Now, maybe it’s because I’m a geek and a perfectionist about these kinds of things, but ma’at is Egyptian, and is the name of a goddess in their pantheon. Having this mingle with primary Norse influence just puts a sour taste in my mouth. Nothing else about the giants reflect Egypt. Their language uses silent and hard j sounds, as well as  in general very harsh, contrasting letters.

The Ordning is a cultural aspect to the giants which has not been mentioned in previous books (at least, that I’m aware of). I get the impression it’s a caste-like system or a way to keep rule, though I could be missing something here. Ordnings vary from giant subraces, which was in itself interesting to see. If not that, it could just be something that they hold important. Fire giants consider craftsmenship one of their highest importances.

For some reason, what a giant carries in it’s bag is a part of this section, and how  what is carried inside of it is used for. I never really imagined giants having a backpack save for maybe Hill Giants, but I’m not one to judge.

Interest Rating 1-5: Two. I never did like giants terribly much, and to that extent, goliaths. But at least if I were to use one, I have more insight to them.

No More Gnoll Matriarchs

gnoll
Yes, gnoll matriarchs have six breasts. Your welcome for the visuals.

 

First, I want to apologize to my friend Doctor Necrotic at Daemons and Deathrays for ever telling me about gnoll matriarchs and their six breasts. Second, apparently Wizards had enough demand for the hyena people to warrant an entire chapter of the Guide to Monsters. Let’s head right in then, shall we?

 

Lore says that the first gnoll were created by a demon named Yeenoghu, who comes to the Material Plane quite often and leaves a path of death and decay in his wake. Hyenas are his chosen animal of preference, and those who ate the corpses of the ones he killed became upright-walking hyena people. What a lovely origin.

Insatiable killing machines, I get the impression that they belong in Scar’s pack in the Lion King. They crave violence and blood over all else, especially the blood of intelligent creatures. It also says that while Yeenoghu cultists amongst gnolls is all too common, finding one that is not of canine lineage is rare.

We are given also a look into the pecking order of a gnoll war band or tribe. Pack Lords come over all others save for the Fangs of Yeenoghu. And even in death and dire situations, devoured gnolls (called Witherlings) are useful. Like their hyena origins, they are scavengers. Yet, in the war band, they will not attack non-gnoll devotees of Yeenoghu so long as they “join in the slaughter when the band finds prey” (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, page 37).

There are also ways to create a gnoll war band, which is a nice little touch since more tribal societies can sometimes be a hard thing to flesh out. From names for the band itself to those in it’s ranks, later on we are even given stats for gnoll Flesh Gnawers, Hunters and Witherlings. So in case your players don’t like these fleabags, they can try to kick them down and perchance fail.

Interest Rating: three. I did not know  terribly much about gnolls up until this point, only loose information and the unyielding interest of one of my friends (I’m looking at you, Cody). They still seem like your average raider band.

 

Hags: No Damsel In Distress

Bheur hags: the cold never bothered them, anyway.

Okay, I have a deep-seated love of hags. Why would anyone have that, though? They’re ugly, cruel and could make your local lunch lady wretch in horror at their mere sight. Maybe it’s because they’re fey creatures who are a little more formidable then a pixie or dryad.

Your typical hag is the archetype of an evil witch: living in desolate places, luring mortals to their doom and gaining rewards for tricking said adventurers into falling into their own traps. Yet hags are also cowards, and won’t actively go looking “for people to make deals with” (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, page 53). Maybe Night Hags, since they are considered fiends and prefer stealing the souls of sentient beings.

Lair effects and actions, in case you need a super powerful witch queen (perhaps Baba Yaga would suffice then?) are provided, and run through the entire list of provided hag species; annis and bheur hag (included in Volo’s Guide), green, night and sea. They all vary, and makes each of them seem not so cut-and-copy. Make sure you laden these lairs with their minions, which are often times corrupted by vile magics.

And just as I mention Baba Yaga, we are also given a bevy of provided mounts and vehicles for hags. A normal creature such as a horse won’t do. Instead, odd animals like giant pigs, cows and goats are used. If your a hag who’s feeling particularly egotistical, they can always opt for a clay statue, giant cauldron or roc’s nest. Hags have nearly no bounds in creativity for non-living vehicles, which will obey only her command. Now I want to ride a peryton skull across the night sky.

Hags are also largely solitary, but will form covens together if they see a goal is worthy  for such cooperation. The more hags in a coven, the more powerful each member becomes. Given also in this portion are alternate coven spells, and there is a chance that a non-hag can join their dark sisterhood with possible  dangerous effects on the newcomer.

Interest rating: 5. Any new fey content is always a plus to me, and having expanded options for hags is something I desperately wanted from Wizards.

 

Monsters of D&D: The Sanderson Sisters

Hello, pixies and sprites!

I realize that I have been largely absent as of late and lax with content. But, Halloween/Samhain is quickly approaching and I am in a rather witchy mood.

As a kid and an adult today, one of my all-tine favorite seasonal films is still 1993’s ‘Hocus Pocus’ (if you’ve never watched the movie, shame on you!). I still get all giddy when I talk about it! And as such, you are in for a spooky good time when you encounter the Sanderson Sisters for yourselves!


Twist the bones and bend the back

Itch-it-a-cop-it-a-Mel-a-ka-mys-ti-ca

Trim him of his baby fat

Itch-it-a-cop-it-a-Mel-a-ka-mys-ti-ca

Give him fur black as black, just

 Like

 This!

Deep within the forests of Salem lies an abandoned hut, caution tape strewn across it’s door. For it is known that odd occurances have happened on the night we know as All Hallow’s Eve; Samhain, the Witches’ New Year; Halloween. Legend goes that a virgin who lights the Black Flame Candle that sits within summons an ancient evil from the sleepy town’s not-forgotten past.

Setting the Candle alight summons forth a trio of black magic practitioners, well known for their tendencies of stealing human life force specifically from children. The Sanderson Sisters, as they are known as, are responsible for the passing of many.

Quirky Coven: While their actions deem them foul, the Sandersons are not as angry or violent as other hags in existence. Unlike other covens, they have a familial attitude towards one another, despite the times where their coven leader, Winifred, constantly berates Sarah and Mary. They are not to be underestimated, however.

 

Winifred Sanderson- medium humanoid

Winifred.jpg

AC: 16

HP: 120

Move Speed:30 ft., fly 60 ft.

Strength: 13 (+1)

Dexterity: 17 (+4)

Constitution:11 (+2)

Intelligence: 20 (+5)

Wisdom: 14 (+2)

Charisma: 18 (+4)

Skills: Intimidation +9, Perception +6

Saving Throws: Intelligence +10, Dexterity +9

CR: 12


We Witches Three: Winifred Sanderson has advantage on ranged spell attacks when Sarah and Mary Sanderson are within 30 feet of her.

-Out of All the Witches, I’m the Worst!: Winiftred Sanderson has advantage on Intimidation skill checks, and effects which would cause her to have the Frightened status effect.

-I Put A Spell On You: Winifred casts a vile spell on one target she can see. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw against her spell save DC (17), or be frightened by her for one minute.

-Oh, Book!: As a bonus action, Winifred Sanderson calls out to her Hellish Tome which comes flying towards her. The Tome cannot be target by opportunity attacks in such a manner, and takes the fastest course to reach her. It can have it’s movement halved or negated, or a spell causing it to be grappled can keep it from moving.

When Winifred Sanderson has the book, her AC goes up by one, and she regains two spell slots of level three or lower. She must use an action to activate the effects, and they last until her next round. The Hellish Tome flies away from its mistress after the effects, and she cannot use this feat two turns in a row.

The Hellish Tome has an AC of 15, immunity to fire and cold damage, resistance to piercing, slashing and bludgeoning damage if weapons are not magical, and 71 hit points.

-Spellcasting: Winifred Sanderson has the following spells prepared.

At Will: Mage Hand, Detect Magic

1st Level (4 slots): Hex, Sleep, Ray of Enfeeblement, Magic Missile, Witch Bolt

2nd Level (3 Slots) Blindness/Deafness, Hold Person, Locate Object

3rd Level (2 slots): Lightning Bolt, Fear, Counterspell, Fly

4th Level (2 slots): Blight, Polymorph

5th Level (1 slot):  Dominate Person, Insect Plague

Actions

-Multiattack: Winifred Sanderson makes two Witchy Cackles or one Witchy Cackle and casting Hex.

-Witchy Cackle: Winifred Sanderson laughs maniacally, targeting two creatures who can hear her. They must make a DC 17 Intelligence saving throw, or take 5d8 damage and half on a success. In addition, they also suffer one of the following (Winifred Sanderson chooses when she makes the attack)

  • The target’s Speed is halved.
  • The target cannot make more then one Attack.
  • The target cannot come within 20 feet of Winifred Sanderson
  • Sarah and Mary Sanderson have advantage on their next saving throw.

The target of the Cackle can make the saving throw again when they are attacked. On a success, the effects end.

-Soul Siphon: Range 15 feet, one target. Damage: 6d4 damage, and  Winifred Sanderson regains hit points equal to that damage.

The damage increase by one d4 if the target is under the effects of a Witchy Cackle.


 

Sarah Sanderson- medium humanoid

sarah

 

AC: 15

HP: 130

Move Speed:30 ft., fly 60 ft.

Strength:10 (+0)

Dexterity: 18 (+4)

Constitution: 12 (+1)

Intelligence: 13 (+2)

Wisdom: 11 (+1)

Charisma: 20 (+5)

Skills: Intimidation +9, Perception +6

Saving Throws: Charisma +10, Dexterity +9

Damage Resistances: Fire; piercing, slashing and bludgeoning damage from non-magical weapons

CR: 10


-We Witches Three: Sarah Sanderson has advantage on ranged spell attacks when Winifred and Mary  Sanderson are within 30 feet of her

-Pretty Ditzy: Sarah Sanderson has advantage on Wisdom saving throws against being charmed.

Spellcasting: Sarah  Sanderson has the following spells prepared.

At Will: Mage Hand, Detect Magic

1st Level (3 slots): Sleep, Charm Person, Hex, Witchbolt

2nd Level (2 Slots): Alter Self, Suggestion, Locate Object

3rd Level (2 slots): Fear, Counterspell, Fly

4th Level (1 slot): Blight, Polymorph

Actions

-Multiattack: Sarah Sanderson makes two Witchy Cackle attacks.

-Witchy Cackle: Winifred Sanderson laughs maniacally, targeting two creatures who can hear her. They must make a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw, or take 4d8 damage and half on a success. In addition, they also suffer one of the following (Winifred Sanderson chooses when she makes the attack)

  • The target’s Speed is halved.
  • The target cannot make more then one Attack.
  • The target cannot come within 20 feet of Sarah Sanderson.
  • Winifred and Mary Sanderson have advantage on their next saving throw.

The target of the Cackle can make the saving throw again when they are attacked. On a success, the effects end.

-I’ll Take Thee Away: Sarah Sanderson can lure a target towards her, charmed. The target must make a DC Charisma saving throw 17 or be charmed. Usually, she lures them far astray from the rest of the group, where she casts debuffing spells upon them.

While under the effects of Sarah’s charm, her sisters have advantage on any non-damaging attack to that target. Sarah Sanderson may end the charm effect as a bonus action.

-Soul Siphon: Range 15 feet, one target. Damage: 4d4 damage, and Sarah Sanderson regains hit points equal to that damage.

The damage increases by one d4 if the target is already under effect of a Witchy Cackle.


 

Mary Sanderson- medium humanoid

mary-sanderson

AC: 15

HP: 139

Move Speed: 30 ft., fly 60 ft.

Strength: 15 (+2)

Dexterity: 14 (+2)

Constitution: 20 (+5)

Intelligence:12 (+1)

Wisdom: 11(+0)

Charisma: 10 (+0)

Saving Throws: Constitution +10, Dexterity +7

Damage Resistances: Fire; piercing, slashing and bludgeoning damage from non-magical weapons

CR: 11


 


We Witches Three: Mary Sanderson has advantage on ranged spell attacks when Winifred and Sarah Sanderson are within 30 feet of her.

-I Smell Children:Mary Sanderson has advantage on scent-based Perception rolls to sniff out children. Here, that is defined as a person who is 15 years old and younger.

-Robust: Mary Sanderson has advantage on Constitution saving throws and Strength saving throws against be grappled or pushed.

Spellcasting: Mary Sanderson has the following spells prepared.

At Will: Detect Magic, Goodberry

1st Level (3 slots): Mage Hand, Detect Magic

2nd Level (2 Slots) Locate Object,

3rd Level (2 slots): Lightning Bolt, Fear, Counterspell, Fly

4h Level (1 slot): Blight, Polymorph

Actions

-Multiattack: Mary Sanderson makes two Witchy Cackle attacks.

-Witchy Cackle: Mary Sanderson laughs maniacally, targeting two creatures who can hear her. They must make a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw, or take 4d8 damage and half on a success. In addition, they also suffer one of the following (Winifred Sanderson chooses when she makes the attack)

  • The target’s Speed is halved.
  • The target cannot make more then one Attack.
  • The target cannot come within 20 feet of Mary Sanderson
  • Winifred and Sarah Sanderson have advantage on their next saving throw.

The target of the Cackle can make the saving throw again when they are attacked. On a success, the effects end.

– Soul Siphon: Range 15 feet, one target. Damage: 4d4 damage, and  Mary Sanderson regains hit points equal to that damage.

The damage increase by another d4 if the target is already affected by a Witchy Cackle.


Hocus Pocus (1993) Belongs to the Walt Disney Company. Stats for the Sanderson Sisters’ conversion belong to Brynvalk at Pitfalls and Pixies. Dungeons and Dragons belongs to Wizards of the Coast, as do terms/spells/etc. of 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).

Magical Origins: Faerie-Themed Backgrounds

 

Good mornings, viewers, and Happy Easter (if you celebrate the holiday)! Today’s post goes hand-in-hand with Doctor Necrotic’s post on faerie backgrounds for 5th Edition. I apologize for the delay in this post also, good friend, but real life gets hectic and more chaotic then summoning Tiamat.

Regardless of life circumstances, here’s some backgrounds themed after faerie and faerie tale characters to inspire your characters!


 

Court-Affiliated

faecourt

 

Through one way or another, you have become entangled with the world of the faerie courts, either Unseelie or Seelie: factions whom are at eternal conflict with the other. You are not a nobleman or women, yet you serve your court to the best of your abilities. Perhaps you were taken in by one of them, or earned service through the trust and good word of another higher then you in their ranks.

Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, History

Tool Proficiencies: None

Languages: Sylvan

Additional Starting Gear:  An emblem showing allegiance to your court, a small ring with inscribed runes, a roll of parchment, an inkwell and quill pen and 15 gp

Court Role: In any society, each person plays a part. Choose from the given options below or roll a d8 to decide at random.

1) Chef

2) Entertainer

3) Gardener

4) Master of falcons

5) Maid/butler

6) Seamstress/tailor

7) Archivest/historian

8) Messenger

Background Feature: Both Sides of the Coin

Even though you are welcome by the noble or not-so-noble courts, you came from common stock with those not within their ranks and can walk between these worlds with ease. You do not invoke fear as many of the more well-known fae courtsman and ladies do, and some even come to you asking for information about either mortals or the magical beings of the Feywilds. What you do with the information that you know, however, is up to you.

Suggested Characteristics:

Personality Traits (d8)

1) The Courts’ fashion sense and mindsets can be rather eclectic. And I adapt that with pleasure and glee.

2) I am rather secretive about my role in the Courts to others who are not part of it.

3) Some think my blood is made up of primarily pilfered wine.

4) I aim to answer every question I am asked, even if I don’t know the answer.

5) There is something about playing with the occult that appeals to me. Tarot cards, runes, you name it.

6) Playing pranks on some of the higher ranking officials fills me with happiness.

7) No gossip is out of my reach. The juicier, the better!

8) Some call me a dragon in disguise, with how I seem to hoard everything.

 

Ideals (d6)

1) Through actions, I can teach the Courts to understand the common folk better. (Good)

2) I am the only one who I need to trust. Everyone else is deserving of my wrath or suspicion. (Evil)

3) Every rule has a place in life, and good reason to be enforced.  (Lawful)

4) Changing the minds of the most powerful is the first step in permanent change. (Neutral)

5) You can’t ever trust anyone, even if they say they’re your friend. (Chaotic)

6) Not all fae are cruel, and not every mortal is unwise. There is knowledge within all. (Any)

 

Bonds (d6)

1) My King/Queen is the most noble of beings! Long live their reign!

2) I find that knowing the kitchen staff can get you out of many situations, and gain an additional slice of pie.

3) Only one man/woman claims my heart, and I will do anything for them.

4) My fellow workers in my field are the folks who deserve my trust.

5) There is no one I trust more than myself.

6) The unseen forces of the world are by far the most trusting of things. Mortals cannot compare.

 

Flaws (d6)

1) Brothels and booze seem to be my “best friends”.

2) I may or may not be hatching a scheme against the very forces I work for. Who needs to know for sure?

3) People are quite boring, so adding a little something “special” to their food and drink makes things interesting.

4) The nobles have too much gold for their own good, so I aim to lighten their loads one by one.

5) I spend too much time interacting with mortals who some of the courts do not generally like.

6) My heart has fallen for a person who I can never be with, even though they admit their feelings for me as well.


 

troll_hunter_by_kerembeyit
Art-kerembeyit of DeviantArt

Faerie Hunter

A life riff with dangers of a magical kind, you have become adept and downright frightening in hunting the fae and other such creatures. While the prospect of hunting the fae does not sound dangerous, you know the ugly truth. They are tricky beings, and with exposure to them you have learned their ways and how to befuddle and track them down as well. They become your prey, and you are more than happy to give them chase.

Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: Poisoner’s Kit

Additional Starting Gear: A hunting dagger, a faerie trinket taken from captured or killed prey, a compass, a map of a familiar location and 5 gp.

Background Feature: Chaser of Prey

With being as talented at hunting faerie creatures as you are, you still require the tools in order to do so. You have an easier time getting such things from those who also have a need for them: searching these providers out, gaining new prey to seek (and possibly a nice penny in your pocket) as well as potential allies. You might be able to haggle a price down on a new set of swords, or even convince a mage of a cold iron enchantment. Talk to your DM about what your Background Trait entails.

 

Suggested Characteristics: 

Personality Traits (d8)

1) At times, I get too carried away with the hunting, and do not know when to give up on my quarry.

2) There is a serene calm of the uninhabited wilds that no mortal establishment can create. The woods is where I succeed.

3) People only slow me down, and so I am solitary. A ‘lone wolf’, if you will, even in civilization.

4) Yes, this is raw meat for dinner. You learn to survive off of what you can find: sometimes it’s not cooked.

5) No target is too large, so long as the payout matches such.

6) At moments, my quarries are sold upon the Black Market. I can’t reveal to you the vendors.

7) There are days that I wish I could just settle down and pursue a normal life and not have to worry for my life always.

8) I have started to hear my name whispered amongst the fae out of fear. Let them fear.

 

Ideals (d6)

1) For the safety of the people, I go about my job with some semblance of peace. (Good)

2) I relish the killing and taking-down of the enemy, filling me with glee. (Evil)

3) I hunt only what needs to be tracked down. An innocent sylvan life is blood not meant to be shed. (Lawful)

4) If others don’t care for this life I lead, that’s their problem. I am content with it.  (Neutral)

5) Everything has a right to live, but sometimes they need to be culled for survival sake. (Chaotic)

6)  If you give me a reason to listen to you, my ears will be open to your words. (Any)

 

Bonds (d6)

1) My whims come first before anyone else.

2) The wilds provide me all I need, and I provide what it needs in kind.

3) My “friends” are few and far between, but I will always watch over them.

4) I rely on a particular benefactor for the mainstay of my pay. He/she comes first and foremost.

5) Druids are my best allies, for they understand where my heart lies.

6)  Anyone with a reason against the fae are my kind of crowd.

 

Flaws (d6)

1) Insult my way of life and I will cut you down with your own knife.

2) I become flustered and tongue-tied at the first sign of kindness or flirtation.

3)  I often do not know when to stop talking, and many times this gets me in trouble.

4) Even if I do not have the money on me, I will always want to buy the most expensive gear.

5) Twenty gold that I can beat that ogre in a wrestling match. I make bets that I can’t always keep up to.

6) I constantly brag about what I call my greatest kill, much to the annoyance of all around me.


 

COVEN-RAISED

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As a child, you thought that your upbringing was normal, until your eyes were opened to the world that it was anything but. You were raised amidst a hag coven, as one of their own. Perhaps you were stolen from a human family in order to play a trick on your blood relatives, or the leader of a coven wanted someone to pass their ways down through. Regardless, your life has been full of sorcery, hexes and charms amidst a circle that some would deem downright monstrous.

Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Nature

Tool Proficiencies: Alchemist’s tools

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: A small ritual knife, a piece of bone jewelry, the symbol of your coven, and a pouch containing 5 gp

 

Coven Role:   In each coven, every person has a dictated role ranging from the mundane to the head of their arcane circle. Roll a d6 at random or choose from the table below

1) Head of the coven

2) Herbalist/ expert of plant life

3) Oracle to the gods/spirits

4) Animal handler

5) Blood-letter

6)  Keeper of lore

 

Feature: Circle Connections

Other hags or those in wicked covens and/or cults can pick up on your ties to their mysterious way of life, and you find it easy to converse with its members. A hag will treat you as a friend, or at least someone who can be trusted easier than others who do not understand coven-life, and will provide shelter and food of a reasonable accommodation that they can provide. Hags also find comfort in speaking to you, and are much more likely to reveal secrets and information to a fellow hag associate.

Suggested Characteristics

 

Personality Trait (d8)

1) The rules of the coven are absolute.

2) If anything is shiny or looks vaguely interesting, it belongs in my pocket.

3) Nothing comes between the success of my family.

4) I am the most beautiful creature in the land. If someone disagrees with this, I pity them.

5) The more wealthy you are, the less of a friend I see you as.

6) Sometimes I wish that some would see us beyond our skin appearances.

7) Wearing the guise of another fills me with glee.

8) Who can resist a little blood sacrifice?

 

Ideal (d6)

1)  If one is above you in the coven, then their word is law. No questions asked. (Lawful)

2) You are one of us. That is reason enough for me to trust you. (Good)

3) Vanity is like a virus that needs to be purged completely. (Chaotic)

4) Through any means necessary, I shall rule the coven and hag-kind possibly. (Chaotic)

5) You scratch my back, I’ll return the favor. (Neutral)

6) Whoever said I can’t raise hell clearly hasn’t seen my past times! (Evil)

 

 Bond (d6)

1) It is my obligation to see my fellow coven-members are safe.

2) My life is a mystery surrounded by enigmas. I must see that they are deciphered.

3) I once had a familiar who I treated like family. I wish I knew where he/she went.

4) My lover is a man who I can never be with, or else the child would be a monster.

5) Isolation brings me peace and insight.

6) My revenge for a person will be as fiery as an inferno.

 

Flaw (d6)

1) I will do just about anything for knowledge. Anything.

2) That which is more beautiful then me will feel my wrath in full.

3) I fear that I will never be a contributor to my coven, and will falter.

4) I hold a deep-seated hatred for another coven member. I feel they overshadow me.

5) The meager amount of money I have is spent on alcohol.

6) The potions I make I exchange for… other such goods on the black market.

 

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